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Tunnels Open Pupils’ Eyes to Wartime School Life

Primary pupils are enjoying a taste of school life during the Second World War in the grounds of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls.

With support of a grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust, the school has opened up six classroom areas in its Second World War bunker.

Andy Browne, director of resources at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, said: “We started investigating the tunnels ahead of the school’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

“The entrance area was filled with broken chairs, tables and general rubbish. We gained access to the six areas of the shelter each of which could be used as a classroom. There were even 1940s lessons still on the walls.

“We were assured that the underground shelter was structurally sound and many former pupils visited the bunker during our anniversary celebrations. Some even remembered where they had sat in the shelter during their wartime classes.

“We have preserved the lessons on the walls and installed benches so a full class can now sit down. The Rochester Bridge Trust grant enabled us to establish the additional entrance and exit required for opening the site to a much wider audience.

“We are now welcoming groups from primary schools studying the Second World War as part of their curriculum. And our catering team is even providing wartime school meals to make the experience more authentic.”


1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

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